After having the opportunity to speak with Delegate Davis earlier this week, I can safely say that there are issues he and I disagree on. What surprised me was that these disagreements didn’t lead to confrontation or excuses or rhetoric. He had good reasons for his votes, he explained them, some things we could see a middle ground, on others we couldn’t. It was one of the few phone calls from a candidate where I didn’t feel like I was talking to a politician. I talked to a few people after the call and remarked that I found it strange and authentic and interesting. Glenn Davis wasn’t on my list of candidates I was considering supporting…and before tonight I was quite dismissive.
So I drove to Hanover County to watch the Hanover LG Forum and see if Glenn Davis was the same in person, and to see if any blood was spilled between two renowned conservative Senators—Bryce Reeves and Jill Vogel. Senator Reeves and Senator Vogel were gracious, kind to one another, and (if we didn’t know better) you would think that they were best friends and unwavering allies in the State Senate. Both Senators support gun rights. Both Senators oppose higher taxes and regulation. Both Senators want real choices in education. Both Senators want viable energy solutions and a respite from draconian EPA regulations which appear aimed at destroying Virginia’s energy economy (especially aimed at destroyed Southwest Virginia).
Senator Vogel and Senator Reeves both agree with me on Party Registration (which didn’t go over well with the crowd there—I won’t say I was the only one that clapped for them, because I wouldn’t want to insult the other three pro-Party Registration folks in the crowd. You three! Love you! Stay Strong!).
Speaking of which, Delegate Davis is dead wrong on Party Registration. This does not alienate libertarians and constitutionalists. They still get registered. They still have access to the Republican Primary. They simply can’t vote in both primaries and they can’t wait to the last minute to try to throw an election.
Delegate Davis is not a very good politician. In fact, if it wasn’t for his large Glenn Davis for LG RV I’d never have found the meeting because Google Maps clearly led him down the same rabbit hole it led me. I just followed him. (To the Hanover Sheriff’s officer that gave them directions…Thank you!). Glenn Davis also forgot to bring his talking points to the debate. Good, Hanover Republican rhetoric must have been left in the RV, because he kept talking about experiences, and new ideas, and possibilities—he talked about looking outside of the box and taking personal responsibility for adapting and overcoming current cultures in national politics.
I must say, Jill Vogel caught my attention when she let everyone in the room share in our responsibility for not thinking outside of the box and discovering ways to not only adapt to changes in regulatory and taxing conditions in America, but overcoming them as well. But Glenn Davis didn’t stop there. He defined his goals. Explained his “out of the box” ideas, where they came from, and where they might take us.
When I walked into the Hanover facility tonight: two things happened. First, I lost 8 pounds. Maybe new technologies will be discovered in the future, like air-conditioning. Second, I realized that Glenn Davis was not to be trifled with. He is aggressive, hard-working, smart, and he doesn’t care about “political realities.” In a way, he reminded me of Denver Riggleman.
Now, one debate and one phone call doesn’t earn an endorsement of a candidate who I don’t really know and about whose legislative record I remain skeptical. It doesn’t get him any excuses for bills he’s voted for that many conservatives don’t like. It doesn’t get him anything except this:
Glenn Davis won tonight’s debate in Hanover County, Virginia. Anyone who was undecided going in and who wasn’t too terribly offended by his obstinate opposition to Party Registration in the Commonwealth, will agree with me.
I spoke with slightly less than a dozen undecideds tonight. 90% were either sold or now seriously interested in Glenn Davis. Senator Vogel and Senator Reeves have some work to do.
That said, let me also say that Senator Vogel and Senator Reeves didn’t say anything that bothered me or anything I disagreed with. Senator Reeves missed many opportunities to reach out to conservatives and libertarians in the crowd, and Senator Vogel took credit for undoing some awful environmental legislation lingering from the Clinton Administration (yet, it seems like she missed more than a few which are hurting us today). This feud between Senator Vogel and Senator Reeves is bothersome. I hate it.
Senator Vogel is one of the kindest and most intelligent Senators I’ve met (outside of my own State Senator Ryan McDougle of course). I have long wanted to endorse her. Senator Bryce Reeves is beloved by a large number of conservatives in his district and surrounding districts whom I greatly respect. His endorsement list speaks for itself. Still, if I was voting on personality and on who sparked my intellectual interest, I’d be endorsing Vogel tonight. Unfortunately, Senator Vogel gave very few details and spoke only in generalities tonight, making her entirely indistinguishable from Senator Reeves, and he from her.
Only Delegate Glenn Davis stood out, got people interested, got people curious, got people wondering what might be possible if he had a more prominent role in government. I believe those who prepared Vogel and Reeves for this event missed a gigantic opportunity. You didn’t lose a single supporter, but you lost almost every undecided voter. What’s worse, they all imagined they’d either go Vogel or Reeves. None of them imagined they’d go Davis.
But here we are. I respect all three campaigns, and although this post is not an endorsement, let it be a warning to consultants who tell their candidates how to appeal to voters. If Trump taught us anything, it’s that your polling data sucks and that the media is completely out of touch. What I saw tonight was two State Senators looking not to get in trouble and one State Delegate looking to make a difference. There will be many opportunities to correct this.
Glenn Davis, I imagine that after tonight you’ll have to step up your game, as your opponents will not make the same mistakes twice. They are both too smart and their staffs too experienced to make this mistake again.
I am a huge Jill Vogel fan. My closest friends and allies are huge Bryce Reeves fans. Objectively, both camps got served tonight. There is a third candidate. His name is Glenn Davis. The pretending that this is a two candidate race is over.